Illinois lawmakers appear to be heeding warnings that a program serving approximately 85-thousand senior citizens could be shut down without additional funding.
Illinois’ Community Care program pays workers to assist senior citizens living at home.
But it ran out of money in mid-March.
The union representing home-care workers has warned that without an infusion of extra cash, the program will collapse.
The Illinois House passed a measure to spend an extra $324 million — part of which the AARP’s David Vinkler says will save the state in the long run by allowing seniors to stay independent.
“We can’t really afford the alternative of having them go into a nursing home.”
Even most Republicans, who generally oppose additional spending, voted for it.
Advocates are urging the Senate to follow the House’s lead.
It’s the latest indication of the pressure created by Illinois’ backlog of unpaid bills – which have built up to nearly $9 billion.
– Amanda Vinicky.